So I seriously am cutting and pasting pieces of emails I have sent out because as I typed it I thought “oh that sounds good for my blog” but by the time I get home from work, do my chores, laundry, dinner, visit with my kids (half asleep might I add) I am just too exhausted to think let alone write!
Chatting with a friend today I was discussing a current topic, an issue with my son and school. I couldn’t help but feel my son has been dealt such a hard hand. I know I’m being the best mom to him, but he deserves better than all the crap he’s been given (medical issues and a terrible sperm donor/father with its own set of issues). All the issues combined make his life more complicated and difficult. More than a little boy should have to process… This morning when I was waking him up, I was combing my fingers thru his thick dark hair and all I could think to myself is I pray to god all these struggles he’s going thru are to help him become an amazing person who will do great in the world in some way. That would be the purpose for all that he’s gone through. To make his adult journey easier using this turmoil to help others because he can relate. By being able to relate to others he can open doors with people because they know he’s been there. Will he be a counselor at Boystown? Or a police officer? Or maybe a worker to help children in domestic violence situations? God knows they’ve all been through so much, they can use it as lessons to help others.
My girls and I have been talking about college and careers, what they want to be. At one time Ashley wanted to work with special needs kids, having been there for her brother gave her the desire to use that to help others. Now Breanna is thinking of becoming a teacher! I discussed with her an option just to consider. There are not many people who can work with special needs kids. It takes an extra special person. God must give those people 10 times as much patience as the normal person! And 10 times as much compassion, so they sympathize and think first how difficult it must be for those kids.
My son has been blessed with many great teachers over the years. They have worked so hard, needing to give my son extra time and attention to keep him on task. Extra patience to tolerate his constant fidgeting and interrupting (because he might forget his thought if he doesn’t say it the moment it pops in his head!). Compassion to work with him on his hard days, when he is not likeable and just grumpy. A loving and kind heart to nurture him when he’s feeling sad or scared, comfort him when he’s not feeling well. And be a motivator to get him to feel like he’s a rock star and get his work done! Let’s not forget humor because these kids need to learn it’s okay to laugh at ourselves. Honestly, there are not enough kind words to say about the staff that work with kids like my son.
He’s had more than his share of bad apples along the way. But I remind myself and Ryan those bad apples show us how extra special the good apples are. They are rare and magnificent. They see these kids in some of their worst moments, they get called terrible names, shoes thrown at them, yet they still hug those kids. They still greet them with a smile on their face, and encourage them with kind words. And remind these kids what they need to hear more than the other kids, they are still good kids. It is a hard job, and under appreciated. Those teachers should get their own day each year, like presidents day!
As I shared some stories with my daughter about my son’s typical school day and how he understood not all the teachers could handle being around him and his friends, because as he said “we’re just odd…meaning not normal”. Sad and amazing all in one that a ten year old boy sees all that. My daughter’s face was sad as she listened. And I couldn’t help but think “is this what I want her sign up for!”. Of course I am not pressuring her one way or another. She could make a difference as an english teacher, or 2nd grade general ed teacher! Both my girls are amazing and wonderful at anything they do. So I sat for a moment thinking, picturing her as a special ed teacher. Then my girls joked how cool if they both did it, and how awesome if they worked in the same school, they’d have their “twin twitch” to share through the day. That’s a look they give each other and they know what the other is thinking….my son was so excited “I want you to work in my class!”. We were all laughing and smiling, it was fun just to imagine.
No matter what career path my kids chose, I know they will do great things. I knew if they worked with special needs kids they’d have ALOT of very hard days that they couldn’t wait to clock out at the end of the day….but those moments when they got thru to those kids…those moments they made a child feel safe and happy and got a hug. Or helped them finish their math assignment, read a story with them and built the kids self esteem seeing them smile…just like being a mom, it’s those very brief moments that would make that job worth all the trouble. I can only imagine anyway.
My heart is so grateful for all the people that help my son feel comfortable with his quirks, remind him how smart he is. And ask what he wants to be when he grows up, giving him that time to imagine himself being anything! I know these people aren’t paid enough for their jobs, most people aren’t but especially them! But I hope they know, even on the worst day, they made a difference. My son tells me stories every day that amaze me! Sometimes my mouth falls open and he asks “what’s wrong mom” and I explain even on my worst work day my boss didn’t call me those names, or throw a shoe at me! And I remind him how amazing it is that those teachers and para’s have such kind hearts to be there for them and that they must really love him and his friends from ‘the odd kids class’. (we joke a lot. You have to laugh with them)
Even if my girls decide not to work with special needs kids, just the fact that they considered it with a proud smile that made me proud. I knew god had given them more than the typical person package. Extra big hearts to hold all their compassion and patience. They really are great sisters…great daughters.
I’m frozen, sitting with my fingers on the keyboard re-reading that sentence and my face is glowing with a smile. I’m laughing listening to Ashley snap at Ryan “do not lick the ice cream scooper and stick it back in the ice cream container Ryan! That is disgusting!” I’m just smiling and chuckling. And here is my son…to make this day even better, asking me what I’m doing, curious what’s so funny. Ryan is offering to make me a bowl of ice cream, that never happens!! Gotta go! This kid needs some time with me! (ok, I just think that chocolate chip ice cream looks really good!)
(To my kids…you will all do great things! No matter what path you choose….but you are still going to finish college! No if, ands, or but’s about that!)